Ober Gatlinburg-12/27 Night-David McConnell
Moguls! I finally got to ski some moguls tonight! WOOHOO!
I took a quick trip up to Ober Gatlinburg after work this afternoon to make a few runs. Well my plan was to make a quick trip up after work but about a gazillion other people from FL, AL, MS, SC, and just every other state in the Union had a different plan in mind for me. The traffic from Newport to Gatlinburg wasn’t too bad but getting through Gatlinburg took around 30 minutes. I talked to some people on the lift that said it took them two and a half hours to get there from Knoxville.
Once I got there the ski area wasn’t terribly crowded. I got lucky and got a space in the upper parking lot, but there were several spots in Lot 2 and 3 open. The temperature was relatively cool, upper thirties I’m guessing but with the afternoon sun and temps near 50 the packed man made of the morning was the wet granular of the evening.
Nice easy skiing snow, but tehbigcheese would have been disappointed.
There were a couple of firm places (some people called them icy but I wouldn’t quite go that far) but nothing that a skier of his magnitude would make more than 2 turns on. If you are wanting firm conditions you had better hit it in the mornings for next few days.
The Red lift was pretty crowded with line running around 20 minutes and a look down Cub Way kind of reminded me of "Where’s Waldo" on the ski slopes. The black lift had a much more manageable line. I only waited 3-5 minutes at the longest but if you wanted to ride with someone specific then it probably would have taken 10. Bear Run was fairly crowded as well, but I have seen it worse. The Ski Patrol was out in force trying to contain the mayhem on the slopes; slow down the out of control skiers and enforce the "No Jumping" rules to a small degree. They were, however; outgunned by the sheer volume of novices and no doubt worn out from an afternoon that I’m sure was even worse.
Mogul Ridge, I love the way that just rolls off your tongue; MOE-gull Ridge.
Mogul Ridge had some huge bumps on it, laid out in the usual pattern; very large with no navigable pattern over on skiers left (the less steep side), or large with a good flow down the steeper right side.
Generally I chose to stick to the right or center line, first day in the moguls this season and my legs can feel it. Pretty much there were never more than 2 or 3 other people on Mogul Ridge at any given time so it’s a great slope to get away from the crowds on, but it’s a long and demoralizing slide down on your tail if you can’t cut it.
Elsa Barnes reports from Wolf Laurel:
We awoke this morning to a nice dusting of snow on the ground in Asheville and headed up to the Wolf with the family. The roads were clear until we got off the interstate then had some snow pack but passable without problems. Wolf got probably 1+" of snow during the early morning, which led to beautiful powder conditions early. Streak and Powder Hill had powder on the sides even at close of day session. Viewfinder and Timberwolf I’m sure started with nice cover too, but at the ridge top the winds were fierce which left the slopes a little crusty by afternoon. Definitely a day for layers with the wind. They fired up the guns on The Bowl and also the terrain park so hopefully we will see these open by the weekend. Crowds were light in the morning and picked up by afternoon but never more than a 10 minute wait in line. They were planning to have both main lifts open by Tuesday. A great time to enjoy this beautiful and conveniently located resort!
Lorrie Tomlinson was at Ski Beech:
On Monday, the temperature was 26 when we arrived at Ski Beech. The natural snowfall was blowing horizontally from the force of the wind. Ice skating was closed. 14 of 15 trails were open. A thick fog limited visibility. The holiday crowds had arrived, but the lift lines were reasonable. A cable on the quad malfunctioned around 2:30pm. For the inconvenience, Ski Beech generously extended the day session until 6pm. That corresponded to 1.5 hours of free boarding!
After dark, ski patrol rescued a teenager who decided to ski some fresh powder on the closed Oz run. The kid had managed to call for assistance via his cell phone. He was cold and scared, but he was okay. Although poaching (accessing closed areas on the slopes) sometimes seems tempting, this was a prime example why staying inbounds was the best idea. Oz may open soon, so be patient.
Tammy Johns was at Sugar:
I have skied at Sugar for years and yesterday’s conditions (Monday) were among the best I’ve seen. There were a few icy spots and yes the winds were HUGE at times pushing people who were standing still – but the snow was great. The crowds were pretty heavy and created some lift lines but that is expected during Christmas week. Great job on this website guys. Ski Sugar!
We will keep a log of the best reporter’s submission, photos and reports. Trust us it is way to time consuming to post every pic…but send them…because we are tallying the scores. The winner of the Best On Snow Reporter for 2005-2006 will win $1000 in cash, a FREE Getaway Vacation and more. The contest will run from now through March 1st and we will choose the winner. Our choice will be based on the following and IN THE ORDER of importance.
Quality of Photos
Quality of Reports (well written, informative, unbiased)
Number of Photo Submissions
Number of Reports
Extra points will be given for getting smiling faces in the photos and including names and cities where you can.
Extra points will be awarded for creative ideas.
We will choose the winner based on how helpful and informative the reports have been.
As of 12/28/2005 here are the top vote getters. (We will only document the top three to five here throughout the season…and we may begin posting the top ten, depending on how close results are.)
1. Lorrie Tomlinson
2. Mark McKelvy
3. Kent Jackson
4. Joe Harmon
5. Heidi Hatcher